As Sheila Dikshit Campaigns In UP, Son Sandeep Dikshit Is Upset In Delhi

Sandeep Dikshit blamed the Delhi Congress for a "smear campaign" against his mother Sheila Dikshit.

New Delhi: Sheila Dikshit has started her campaign in Uttar Pradesh as Congress's chief ministerial candidate, a job that she accepted after some coaxing. In Delhi, her son Sandeep Dikshit is fighting her old battles.

Mr Dikshit, who lost his parliamentary seat in the 2014 national election, has hit out at the Delhi Congress without naming its chief Ajay Maken, who has been ranged against the mother-son duo since a falling out a few years ago.

"If somebody clandestinely attacks your honour and dignity, it is up to you to defend it. It doesn't involve the party. As a son, I have the right to raise the whole anti-Sheila Dikshit campaign," Mr Dikshit told NDTV, adding, "It was a smear campaign by our own people... it was a charade, mirage."

The Congress has distanced itself from the row, with Ghulam Nabi Azad saying: "It is a matter between two individuals."

Mr Dikshit said he agrees: "I am not central to either Delhi Congress or the central Congress. I believe in the old Congress and its ideology."

Last year, as the Congress wallowed in poll defeats, Mr Dikshit was among the first in the party to suggest that Sonia Gandhi should stay president, which clashed with the buzz surrounding the promotion of Rahul Gandhi, who is seen to be close to Ajay Maken.

Questions have resurfaced after the 51-year-old politician, in a blog, appeared to attempt a risk analysis of his prospects in parties like the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party.

"There are no other pastures. I am in the Congress because of my conviction," he said today.

"If people read my letter they will understand that the Congress was not the Congress they thought it was. I think it will strengthen the Congress... if you want to misread it, then I pity them."

Sheila Dikshit, 78, was chief minister of Delhi for three straight terms until she lost to Arvind Kejriwal in 2012. Last year, she was benched by the Congress in favour of Ajay Maken to take on AAP.

After a humiliating defeat, the war between the Dikshits and Mr Maken peaked.

After initially turning down the UP job, Ms Dikshit said she would follow her party's wishes.

Highlights

  • Sandeep Dikshit hits out at Congress's Delhi leaders
  • 'Smear campaign against my mother,' says Sandeep Dikshit
  • Sheila Dikshit campaigning in UP as chief ministerial candidate
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